The Hospitality Guild launches Kitemarking System to raise industry standards

The Hospitality Guild has launched a new kitemark system to help organisations promote their commitment to training and developing staff and to raise professional standards in the industry.

Founded in 2012, the Hospitality Guild unites 23 of the leading hospitality associations and some of the hospitality industry’s largest employers in a modern day guild dedicated to the development of the highest professional standards in hospitality.

The new kitemark system was developed in partnership with leading organisations in the industry and will be managed by the Hospitality Guild’s partner organisation, People 1st.

Annette Allmark, head of professional standards at People 1st, explained that the kitemark system was established after research highlighted the need for an external endorsement of training programmes that offered staff members excellent training and development opportunities.

Annette commented: “We’ve been working to raise professional standards in the industry for a number of years and while we know of a number of employers who really do offer their team members fantastic training and career development opportunities, there was really nothing that recognised this officially.

“Our research showed that there was a desire for something like this, so we set about developing a new kitemark.

“Businesses can have either individual training courses or entire training programmes endorsed and it has proven extremely popular, with two employer programmes already kitemarked.”

Multinational hospitality business, Beds and Bars, and leading UK-wide pub group, Spirit Pub Company, have both had their staff training and development programmes kitemarked.

Mark Peters, head of learning and development at Spirit Pub Company, commented: “Of course we were keen to make sure our company’s training was recognised because we truly believe that it does offer excellent career development, but there was also the more altruistic desire to contribute to the professionalisation of the industry.

“The fact that the Hospitality Guild has now also recognised and endorsed our training really validates the work that we’ve put in and the experiences that we deliver.”

Annette added that she believes the kitemark will help improve staff retention within the industry: “It has been clear for a number of years that the hospitality industry needs to do more to promote the career opportunities and pathways it has to offer, along with the fantastic training available to ensure that people are given the chance to develop new skills as they progress in their career.

“The kitemark system will recognise training courses and programmes that do this and we know that offering quality training can have a huge impact on retention.”

Organisations that wish to have either individual training courses or entire programmes kitemarked can get more information about the scheme and submit an application online at

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